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Br J Pharmacol. 2007 Dec;152(7):987-1002. Epub 2007 Jul 2.

Novel uses for anti-platelet agents as anti-inflammatory drugs.

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Leukocyte Biology Section, National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College, London, UK.


An alteration in the character and function of platelets is manifested in patients with inflammatory diseases, and these alterations have been dissociated from the well-characterized involvement of platelets in thrombosis and haemostasis. Recent evidence reveals platelet activation is sometimes critical in the development of inflammation. The mechanisms by which platelets participate in inflammation are diverse, and offer numerous opportunities for future drug intervention. There is now acceptance that platelets act as innate inflammatory cells in immune responses, with roles as sentinel cells undergoing surveillance, responding to microbial invasion, orchestrating leukocyte recruitment, and migrating through tissue, causing damage and influencing repair processes in chronic disease. Some of these processes are targeted by drugs that are being developed to target platelet participation in atherosclerosis. The actions of platelets therefore influence the pathogenesis of diverse inflammatory diseases in various body compartments, encompassing parasitic and bacterial infection, allergic inflammation (especially asthma and rhinitis), and non-atopic inflammatory conditions, for example, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and atherosclerosis. This review will first discuss the evidence for platelet activation in these various inflammatory diseases, and secondly discuss the mechanisms by which this pathogenesis occurs and the various anti-platelet agents which have been developed to combat platelet activation in atherosclerosis and their potential future use for the treatment of other inflammatory diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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